Algeria Chinese Boom

This Oct. 11, 2009 photo shows Chinese workers pouring cement as they construct a housing project funded by the Algerian government and built by a state-owned Chinese firm near Algiers, Algeria. While still struggling with the aftermath of a decade-long Islamic insurgency, oil-rich yet impoverished Algeria is getting a makeover: a new airport, its first mall, its largest prison, 60,000 new homes, two luxury hotels and the longest continuous highway in Africa. The power behind this runaway building spree is China. Some 50 Chinese firms, largely state-controlled, have been awarded $20 billion in government construction contracts, or 10 percent of the massive investment plan promised by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a nation where jobs and housing are scarce and al-Qaeda has struck roots. (AP Photo/Alfred de Montesquiou)

Meryem Mehdi